Trachoma patient Asegedech, wearing a pink checked shirt, is hugged by Integrated Eye Care worker Tsehay

Every Blink Was Painful For Asegedech

Asegedech was one of the 1.2 million people in Ethiopia suffering from trachoma – a cruel and agonizing infection that slowly tortures and blinds.

Trachoma starts as an itch. It makes your eyes sting and water, almost impossible not to scratch. Of course, those affected unknowingly touch their eyes, then accidentally pass this highly infectious disease on to their family, friends and community.

And what makes this disease particularly cruel, is that it thrives in poor and remote communities where there’s a lack of access to clean water, sanitation and health care – communities like Asegedech’s in the Gamo Gofa Zone of southern Ethiopia.

Thirteen-year-old Asegedech has suffered from trachoma for over two years. While other children her age went to school each day, Asegedech was forced to stay at home. She suffered excruciating pain.

But help came when Tsehay, an Orbis-trained community eye care worker, came to Asegedech’s village.

Asegedech's trachoma was treated thanks to your support

Tsehay noticed Asegedech’s sore, weeping eyes straight away and put her on a course of sight-saving antibiotics. It’s amazing that such a brutal condition can be so easily treated, with the help of kind Orbis supporters like you.

Asegedech is now free from trachoma, but the condition continues to ruin the lives of millions of people around the world. And with blindness set to triple by 2050, we must do everything we can to prevent trachoma’s spread and save people’s sight.

Together, we can prevent this crisis and give many more people the life-changing eye care they deserve.

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